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How To Thin Out Canned Nacho Cheese [Answered]

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Canned products are easy to buy and manage. But questions arise regarding their freshness. Canned nacho cheese is widely popular and used in many households. But, to get a smooth and proper cheese sauce, it must be thinned. The process can be confusing.

How to thin out canned nacho cheese?

Canned nacho cheese is basically a cheddar cheese sauce that has been preserved and canned. So, to thin it out we must add liquid thinning agents. This may be water, milk, cream, broth, etc. Besides these, we could also reheat it for a temporary solution.

Now, in this article, we will go over all of the procedures and explain why and how they will help us thin out our canned nacho cheese.

What Is In Canned Nacho Cheese

The canned nacho cheeses are mainly a processed version of the authentic nacho cheese sauce. And the ingredients inside a typical can are usually artificial food additives that are used to increase the shelf life of the sauce.

So cheese whey, modified food starch, soybean oil, cheddar cheese are some main ingredients. And jalapeno peppers, sodium phosphate, salt, and other add-ins are among the ingredients of a usual nacho cheese can.

Now we can learn from studying the ingredients of the cheese sauce that makes it thick. If the cheese sauce has any additional thickeners then we will have to add our thinning agents. But if it doesn’t it can simply be reheated to make a thin pourable sauce.

Not all canned nacho cheese follow the same ingredients listed above. Some use thickeners. The best way to find out if the cheese has thickeners or not is to put it through a microwave.

Heating the cheese will cause it to melt and then come back to room temperature. If a sauce has no thickeners then it will stay loose when returned to room temperature. But a sauce with thickeners will go back to being thick.

And thinning a cheese sauce is like thinning or thickening a puree, it is very simple. We have two different types of methods for two different types of sauces. 

So, now that we know how to identify what is in the sauce, we will learn how to thin out canned nacho cheese. 

Thinning Canned Nacho Cheese – Detailed Guide

The primary issue with canned nacho cheese is that it could get stiff and thick. If it is being stored at any given temperature for a long time. Because part of the moisture in the sauce evaporates. 

Thus, it thickens naturally, making it more difficult to pour and possibly less attractive to eat. You want a tasty canned nacho cheese sauce that’s easy to pour. A sauce that is smooth and flows smoothly over the nachos or whatever else you’re serving it with.

You’ll need to pour some liquid back into the sauce to keep it at the proper consistency. This is something for which there are possibilities. Of course, you can use water, but the flavor will be diluted and give you a bland sauce. 

You may also use milk or cream, which will give you a similar texture but may not be as flavorful. So, now we will go over the two different ways to achieve our thinned-out canned nacho cheese.

In Case Of No Thickeners,

This process is comparatively quite simple and requires the least bit of work. It is also the process of detecting the added thickeners in the sauce. 

So, in this process, you must heat the cheese. It will cause it to melt and then come back to room temperature. If a sauce has no thickeners then it will stay loose when returned to room temperature.

Now to clarify, reheating your sauce again and again can cause a change in the flavor. So, only reheating a certain amount is advised. Any form of cheese sauce will return to a thick form after a while. 

But the canned sauces without added thickeners will thicken over a long period of time. By which point a normal meal can be enjoyed and eaten easily. So, reheating the sauce will be enough and no further ingredients have to be added.

But in the case where reheating is not doing the job, we must add external ingredients. But before we do so we must remember this cheese is based on cheddar cheese. The cheddar cheese is traditionally malleable.

So, excessive ingredients won’t be required. But it will be like thinning queso, the taste has to be kept in mind as well.

In Case Of Added Thickeners

As mentioned before, in a processed can of cheese, there may be thickeners. So you could add ingredients to make it thinner as you reheat it. The thick consistency of canned nacho cheese can be thinned off with a variety of dairy products. 

But exclusively using dairy items can cause the cheese to feel excessively rich. And that taste is unappetizing to many. There is no requirement to use exclusively dairy Items. 

If you don’t want to use dairy products or don’t have any on hand, non-dairy alternatives can be used to make the thick canned nacho cheese thinner.

So, first off, you can definitely use milk while reheating the cheese. Because milk is typically a widely available dairy item at every home. It is the quickest way to thin up the dense canned nacho cheese.

Simply take a large saucepan, add the heavy nacho cheese, and reheat on low-medium heat. Pour a little bit of milk into a mixing bowl and whisk well. Continue to pour the milk till the cheese becomes thin.

You might think about which type of milk. Any milk will do just fine be it whole milk or homogenized milk, nut milk, pasteurized milk, etc. Using a great whisk is crucial in these instances, so we have recommended some.

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One thing to note is not to heat it too much. As that will result in a grainy sauce. We could use the same process with cream as well.

Just take a large pot, add the dense nacho cheese, and reheat on low-medium heat. Pour a little bit of cream into a mixing bowl and whisk well. Continue to pour the cream till the cheese becomes thin.

A thing to keep in mind here is that cream is thicker than milk. So, the consistency has to be balanced accordingly. 

You could also use yogurt for this process. But keep in mind that yogurt has a distinctive taste. And this might change the flavor of your cheese. But still if done right will result in a great nacho cheese sauce.

So, reheat the dense nacho cheese in a large pot over low-medium heat. In a mixing bowl, pour a small amount of yogurt and whisk it well. Pour the yogurt in until the cheese has thinned out.

Using dairy products is basically the same. And follows this basic process to thin out the canned nacho cheese. But now let us look at some other options.

Like water for example. You can easily use water, But it will result in a more diluted taste. So, in a big pot over low-medium heat, reheat the thick nacho cheese. 

Pour a tiny amount of water into a mixing pot and whisk it thoroughly. Pour in enough water to thin down the cheese. But don’t overdo it or else as mentioned before, it will result in a bland cheese sauce.

Another interesting ingredient is any type of pickling liquid. You can opt for a recipe of pickling liquid. Pickling liquids have a natural salty and sour taste and they are basically water, vinegar, and the juices of the pickled substance.

So, if the pickling liquid has compatible flavors, we can add that while reheating. And mix it well until we get a thinner cheese sauce.

So, by using these procedures we can thin out our canned nacho cheese.


What’s the deal with my bleu cheese dressing being so runny?

Blue Cheese dressing can become watery if food is dipped straight into the jar and then chilled and unsealed for later use, such as crisps or veggies like baby carrots.

How do you keep nacho cheese after it’s been opened?

Set your nacho cheese in a jar that can be tightly sealed. Regardless of whether you use a lidded bowl, a jar, or a plastic container. Make sure it closes and seals properly. Use a freezer bag as a second option for preserving your cheese dip.

How can I thicken my nacho cheese sauce?

You can thicken your queso by making a slurry with cornstarch and cool milk. A conventional slurry is made with a 1:1 liquid to cornstarch ratio, but I used 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons milk for our cheese.


To summarize, we hope this information was helpful in resolving your problems. This post will teach you how to thin out canned nacho cheese from start to finish. We also hope you can find the information we provided to be helpful.

So, until next time, best wishes!